There are always people who will be late for the party.
Kayla was turning around the crowds of protesters, the camera hidden in the visor kept running. She adjusted the focus with her palm computer, hoping to take a photo that would cause a sensation so that she could write a big report. There is: The old man is sweaty, and the children on his shoulders have already slid to the side, but still tightly hold the self-made small slogan in his hand: “Let go of our clouds!”
That’s it. Much better than the protesters who squeeze in vain by the airport fence; also better than the obscure slogans-“defend the desert” and “refuse the water mirror”-or the weird conspiracy theories: ” From wakes to clouds to slavery”; better than those water vendors, who are making money from heatstroke under the scorching sun like a dragon’s breath in the Midwest.
A woman in shorts and a crop top bumped Kyla. “Oh, sorry.”
”It’s okay. But…” she lowered her voice and asked hesitantly, “…isn’t this an attempt to help Chicago?”
”No. Don’t you even watch the news? This His mother is just a test. If it works, the government will release sulphate in the air to do something’global cooling’, so that both Africa and India will suffer from drought, and—”She turned her head and looked at a plane from alert. The roar of the plane taking off from the severe airport drowned her voice.
The silver body will spread suspended particles that can increase rainfall in the harsh sunlight, the amount of which is far beyond the natural level. The clouds formed by them, known as “water mirrors”, will float eastward over Chicago. An unprecedented heat wave has brought the city’s commerce to a halt, damaged the asphalted roads, and caused — so far — 269 lives, most of them poor. Compared with ordinary clouds, the water mirror can reflect more sunlight and relieve the intense heat caused by global warming, even for a few days. After all, clouds will not last long.
In fact, these clouds are not useful at all, they are too expensive, and public opinion is too strong. Didn’t those demonstrators hear that the government has announced that they have abandoned this plan? Well, even if they hear it, they won’t believe it.
Protesters in umbilical outfits continued to educate Kayla: “Geoengineering is just about some people delusional to be God, and—hey! Why don’t you sweat at all? You wear a cooling suit! Luke, come here—again. Caught a spy!” She grabbed Kayla’s arm and held her firmly.
Kayla got rid of her hard and started to run away. Mistakes, mistakes, she shouldn’t wear a cooling suit under her coat. But if she didn’t wear it, she might have been fainted by the temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit before she could write the report. The cooling effect of the cooling suit is automatically strengthened with running, but no matter how cool it is, it will not give Kayla the speed and agility of twenty years ago. Luke chased closer and closer from the left, and two men on the right were about to run over to stop her.
Two weeks ago, a reporter was brutally beaten while covering a protest against the fracturing law in Montana. Those who participated in the protest felt that all the media were spies sent by the government.
Kayla tripped and fell. She shrank her body into a ball, covered her head with her hand, and waited to be beaten. They would definitely do it-she had seen the expression on Luke’s face.
But not. On the contrary, someone helped Kayla up. “Are you Ms. Sadnovna?” a voice asked.
Three men stood in front of her. One of them was wearing a black suit that was particularly out of season. The cooling suit in him must be incredibly powerful. The remaining two people were wearing shorts and T-shirts, with assault rifles in their hands.
Keira broke free of the man’s hand. “Who are you?”
”My boss wants to talk to you. Of course, we can guarantee your personal safety.” He pointed to a black stretch car fifty yards away.
”I’ll ask again, who are you? Who are you in the car?”
”James C. Sullivan.”
Kyra blinked. More and more protesters gathered on her left, some of them shining in the sun with metal weapons.
”Okay, let’s go. But if it’s not Sullivan…”
It is indeed him. Kayla knew him, and people all over the world knew him, tall, cold, handsome, dressed like a banker, not a software wizard. James Conway Sullivan relied on the virtual reality project to start a computer revolution. He first turned an ordinary mobile phone into a large-format, high-realistic holographic projector. Decoration companies and architects can use this new product to simulate house design; large companies use it for R&D and display; history teachers turn the entire classroom into Roman Forum; while teenagers put up nude models in their dormitories. Since then, the functions of various software have been strengthened day by day, completely beyond people’s cognition. Recently, James Sullivan developed cutting-edge artificial intelligence, and became the richest person in this country in one fell swoop, with half the wealth of Bill Gates. He is known for his frugality and spends little money except for security.
Kayla, like most liberals, despise him. These people control 95% of the world’s wealth, but the big oligarch in front of him has not spent a penny to help those who need it more. “Hello, Ms. Sadnovna. I have a job for you.”
Keira followed Sullivan to a Marriott hotel, which was equipped with air-conditioning and a well-equipped small bar in the simple suite. Kayla has interviewed many ambassadors and princes, and recognized what custom suits are like, but Sullivan is not.
”Do you want something to drink?” he said.
”No need. What do you mean by the job?” It’s not that she will take it, but she is curious.
”I want you to write a book about a project that I am about to start.”
”I am neither a gunman nor a commercial writer.”
”Do you think I don’t know? You write a book about failure.”
His frankness made Keira want to roll her eyes. This man is simply a freak: he is a software genius, but he hardly surfs the Internet; he is a West Virginian, and he speaks like an English professor; he is a wealthy tycoon, but lives Marriott. Speaking of his words, Kayla’s first book “Firming Rocks” is about protesting against the failure of the oil pipeline movement; the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Red Planet Failure” is a detailed account of NASA’s Mars. The colonial plan failed because at that time all the funds of this institution were diverted to deal with the political turmoil caused by climate change.
”You are not a loser.”
”Yes, my project is the same. But I have been following your work for many years, and I hope you will report on this.”
”What’s the matter?”
”Only you I can only disclose it after signing the non-disclosure agreement, and I promise that this matter will not infringe any of your rights.”
”I’m not interested, Mr. Sullivan.”
He continued speaking on his own, as if he hadn’t heard Kayla’s answer. Keeping eyes on her. “You can freely access all of my meetings, memos, and transactions for at least one year. We will not restrict what you write, nor interfere with which publisher you choose. You can get two million dollars in advance. Of course, we will also reimburse all your expenses during this period.” Kayla couldn’t help but widen her eyes. She is not a quiet negotiator. But she said nothing.
There are always people who will be late for the party.